Ask the expert: Technology

Marc Linden, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Operations and Finance, Sage Intacct

Mark LindenCloud-based financials

Q. Why is it so hard to get good financial information?

A. Most traditional accounting software wasn’t designed for an always-on, always-connected, always-working world. That has left many finance teams struggling with manual processes and workarounds that often force users to rely on external tools like Excel to create reports. The result? Spiraling overhead, functional limitations, and unnecessary risks. And when you lack real-time visibility into your financial and operational KPIs, you can’t make the decisions you need to move your business forward.

Q. Is the cloud right for finance?

A. Cloud-based financial solutions eliminate hardware costs and IT management headaches and offer software that delivers security, backups, and disaster recovery to protect your financial data and system at a much higher level and at a much lower cost than if you did it yourself.

Q. Why is the cloud architecture so popular for financial and accounting systems?

A. Built for the internet, cloud-based financial applications have the architecture that keeps up with today’s speed of business. True cloud applications offer direct, always-on access on a per-user/per-month subscription. They are multi-tenant, which means only you can look at your own data — even though you share a single set of resources, application infrastructure, and databases. There are no capital investments or long-term commitments because you do not buy, license, or manage the underlying hardware, software, or networking infrastructure. You get upgrades at no additional cost.

Q. What does a cloud-based financial management system offer to the finance team?

A. A best-in-class cloud financial management solution is designed to scale with your growing business without adding complexity. Instead of creating more work, the system can automate your key financial processes, reduce reliance on spreadsheets, and give users greater visibility into real-time business performance. Finance teams can also tailor the system to their exact business needs by configuring workflows, data-entry screens, and preferences — all without costly coding or IT help.

Q. What should buyers look for from a cloud financial system?

A. Fast-growing companies want and need a modern, IPO-ready financial management system. Start with one that offers solid accounting and reporting functionality, plus strong controls to ensure compliance and auditability. Ensure the system offers the flexibility to support your firm’s evolution and the scalability to support growth and automation to keep your workforce lean. Be sure the system offers real-time visibility and insight into both operational and financial metrics to help you make the right decisions at the right times.

Marc Linden has more than 25 years of finance, business strategy, and general management experience. He was CFO of Intacct prior to its acquisition by Sage. He has also held senior financial management positions with Mirapoint, Openwave, and Onebox and began his career in the technology practice at McKinsey & Company. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Sage Intacct

Companies rely on Sage Intacct’s best-in-class cloud accounting and financial software to deliver the efficiencies and insights that keep them on the fast track to growth. Sage Intacct is the only cloud accounting software company to be appointed a preferred provider by the American Institute of CPAs and recognised by finance professionals as the highest-rated solution for customer satisfaction. Learn more >